News / Middle East

Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talks

Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talksi
X
November 22, 2013 12:07 AM
The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. 

It was just eight months ago that President Barack Obama visited Israel.  It was the first foreign trip of his second term - designed to improve relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which have been stressed over the Palestinian conflict.

But now the two men are at serious odds again - this time over nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Benjamin Netanyahu:

"It's clear that this agreement is good only for Iran, and that it's really bad for the rest of the world.  Iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare," he said.

Israel is concerned Iran is too close to building a bomb - and wants its nuclear capabilities rolled back. Iran says its program is peaceful, and the U.S. is pressing international diplomacy to resolve the dispute.

Dennis Ross, a former senior advisor on Iran to President Obama, sees merits in Israel's position.

“Even if you are slowing the clock or freezing it, you are freezing it at a level that basically is unacceptable.  Because that level would allow the Iranians to have a break out capability and you are not reversing the program," said Ross.

The U.S. stance has also angered another key ally in the region: Saudi Arabia.  In what analysts see as an unprecedented development, Israel and many Sunni Arab nations are aligned in their concerns about Iran.

Adam Ereli, a Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, says this puts the U.S. in a delicate position.

“Let’s not forget our close and steadfast and important allies in the region who not only rely on us, but who we rely on for our national security," said Ereli.

Israel has threatened to bomb Iran if it gets too close to making a nuclear weapon, despite U.S. efforts to tone down the harsh rhetoric.  Analysts don’t believe Israel will attack during negotiations between world powers and Iran.

But analyst Robert Satloff says Israel's impatience is growing.

“I think the likelihood of Israeli military action against Iran has gone way up," said Satloff.

Satloff says the current Israeli government feels it has been left out in the cold.

That could have a negative impact on the Middle East peace process, which the U.S. is spearheading.

“And that is because the crisis of confidence between the United States and Israel will have an impact on this diplomacy," said Satloff.

Looking away from the U.S., Netanyahu has met with the Presidents of France and Russia to appeal for tough terms on a nuclear accord with Iran.

Despite the deep disagreements with Netanyahu., Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration will not let down its key ally.

“We believe deeply in our commitment to Israel, deeply, " said Kerry.

Kerry says the United States will not accept any deal that allows Iran to buy time to increase its nuclear capability and further threaten Israel.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid